Mary Moeono-Kolio

Country representing





  • The University of Auckland
  • Master of Arts (Honours), majoring in Criminology

Current organisation

Ministry of Education, New Zealand

Current role

Senior Advisor - Secondary Tertiary

Skills and Expertise

Climate change
Human rights

Areas of interest

Human Rights
Sustainable Development
Youth Unemployment

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about


My professional and volunteer work has required me to design and implement various programmes and initiatives that raise Indigenous and Pacific youth engagement and achievement in education. Both my work and research has looked at how to best address and ameliorate educational inequalities experienced by both Pacific communities, as well as other under-represented equity groups within the higher education context. I have also coordinated the MATES Senior - Mentoring Programme (Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme) under the Great Potentials Foundation based in Auckland New Zealand, that works to address the underachievement in education among disadvantaged youth and communities and recognizes that poverty within these communities is often the single greatest barrier to the development and success of young people in education. A significant part of my varied roles also includes advocacy on behalf of these young people as well as raising awareness, and promoting dialogue and understanding about equity issues within education and the wider community. I am also part of the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors and was able to play a key role in establishing the Wellington based team. In this role, our team have been able to successfully host a number Climate Change focused events for the Pacific community in Wellington. I currently sit on the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC), Inclusion and Engagement Committee where I am able to present a young, Pacific indigenous, and female perspective on social justice and peace issues within New Zealand and the Pacific Region. The committee is responsible for the development of plans and strategies for the ongoing engagement of members within the CYC, as well as work to ensure persons with disabilities, minorities and other excluded groups are included and mainstreamed in all decision making process and activities of the Council.